Getting in shape for summer is not about starvation, over-exercising or crash dieting.
It’s about nourishing your body and providing it with the nutrients it needs to function and perform optimally. Eating seasonal and locally available produce is the first step towards mastering the daylight savings diet.
The daylight savings diet is simply eating foods that are in season and locally available, as this is how our bodies have evolved over time. Many veggies that flourish during summertime (like spinach, avocado, rocket, kale, broccoli, spring onion, artichoke and beetroot) happen to make wonderful salad ingredients and are also naturally low-carb, low calorie and high fibre.
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Consider your meal timing and nutrient combos
Pair healthy fats like avocado and olive oil with moderate protein and high amounts of non-starchy, seasonal veggies like leafy greens.
Post-workout is also an ideal time to consume your daily carbs because it’s when the body can best utilise them by storing the carbohydrates as glycogen in the muscle rather than being converted to body fat. The same physiological principles apply to everyone and work with three main pathways:
- Exercise increases insulin sensitivity which means you can administer significantly less insulin to get the job done.
- Muscles can soak up excess glucose via a pathway that doesn’t require insulin at all. This is called non-insulin mediated glucose uptake.
- Exercise creates space for incoming dietary carbs which means you can capitalise on nutrient partitioning.
For better results, save high-carb fruit after your workout when your body can best process the natural sugars. This includes seasonal fruit like bananas, watermelon, pineapple and honeydew.
It's cheap, easy and time-effective
The daylight savings diet is cheap, easy, and even removes the difficulty of reading the back of packets, ingredient lists, and nutritional information from the equation. I like to use the Fitbit app to scan the barcode so I can easily see the nutritional value. It also requires less preparation and time because the majority of spring and summer foods are best eaten raw.
You'll be supporting the locals
A rewarding part about seasonal change is supporting the farmers who work hard to bring people a delicious array of healthy food. Support your community by shopping at your local farmers market, where you will learn the tips and tricks on how to buy and prepare seasonal and local produce. You can ask the farmers questions about the produce which will make the entire experience more mindful and enjoyable.
Keen on trying it out? Keep these factors in mind...
- If you are eating large amounts of carbs e.g. fruit and starchy vegetables, keep fat intake low at those times.
- Keep carb intake low if eating high amounts of fats e.g. avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil and fatty fish.
- Track your food and water intake on the Fitbit app so you can see how close you are towards reaching your goals.
- Simultaneous high carb and high fat intake is a bad combination as it will increase your calorie intake significantly.
And as ALWAYS, avoid crash dieting!
It's tempting to want to get in shape as fast as possible so you can rock that bikini body, but if it's not done in a sustainable way, chances are you will re-bound even further away from your starting point. It might get you the look you’re after initially, however, it will only ever be temporary. It’s all about building a healthy metabolism, as severe calorie restriction or crash dieting causes metabolic damage by slowing the metabolism down drastically. When you start to overeat calories, your body has no choice but to store the excess as body fat.